DOT: Filipina from US with ‘connections’ skipped quarantine, partied in Makati
MANILA, Philippines — A Filipina who returned from the United States, and “boasted of having connections,” skipped being quarantined in a hotel and then went to attend a party in Makati City, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat confirmed Thursday.
“Hindi siya nag-quarantine…Itong taong ito, pagkadating niya (sa Pilipinas), the next day, umikot na ng Poblacion (a barangay — that is, a village — in Makati City which is also a popular tourism hub). Hindi lang ‘yon, nagyabang pa na may koneksyon daw siya,” Puyat said in an interview over dzBB.
(She did not go into quarantine…This person, when she returned, the next day, went around Poblacion. Not only that, she even boasted to her companions that she has connections.)
“Kasi nagtatanong yung mga kasamahan bakit kakadating lang niya the day before pero bakit daw nandun na daw siya sa party. Sabi niya marami daw siyang connection,” she added.
(Because her companions asked her why she was able to attend the party when she just returned the other day. She said she has a lot of connections.)
The returning Filipina, according to Puyat, later tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Her companions at the party also contracted the virus.
The DOT chief noted that the Filipina involved had admitted that she did not check in at the hotel.
“Inamin na niya na hindi siya naka-check in [She admitted that she did not check in],” Puyat said.
Puyat did not identify the Filipina as well as the hotel where she was supposed to stay under quarantine. The tourism chief however said the hotel is located in Metro Manila.
“Nagkalat na siya ng lagim…Nobody is really above the law because this is a health crisis. Dahil sa kapabayaan niya, nahawa niya yung mga kasama niya at as we speak, yung mga nahawaan niya, may, nahawaan pang ibang tao,” the DOT chief said.
(She has spread terror already…Nobody is really above the law because this is a health crisis. Because of her carelessness and as we speak, her companions got infected, infected other people as well.)
The close contacts of the returning Filipina have already been traced and isolated, according to Puyat.
The DOT, she noted, earlier asked the hotel regarding the incident. But the hotel, Puyat said, denied that the returning Filipina skipped quarantine.
However, those who tipped off the incident executed signed affidavits saying otherwise, Puyat added.
“Yung mga nagsumbong sinabi ko ‘Sinasabi ng hotel nandun naman daw the whole time.’ Ginawa nung mga kasama niya, nagpakita ng signed affidavit mga pictures, TikTok videos…Nag-TikTok pa,” the secretary said.
(I told those who tipped off what happened that the hotel said she was there the whole time. What her companions did was show their signed affidavits, photos, TikTok videos*… She even had TikTok videos.*)
“Maraming signed affidavit kasi sila mismo nahawa ng COVID. At mismong yung babae nagyayabang na may koneksyon daw siya,” she added.
(There’s a lot of signed affidavits because they themselves were infected with COVID. And the lady herself was boasting of her connections.)
The DOT has given the hotel three days to explain the alleged quarantine breach.
“Nagsinungaling sila sa amin ng una, sinabi na nila na nandun daw yung tao. E wala naman. May mga CCTV cam pa nga kami na that person was in Poblacion,” Puyat said.
(They lied to us the first time that she was inside the whole time when she was not. We even have CCTV clips that showed that she was in Poblacion.
As for the Filipina, Puyat said it would be up to authorities to file charges against her.
“Iba ang magkakaso sa kanya [She can face charges filed by other authorities]. Sa amin (DOT), ang kakasuhan namin yung [For us in the DOT, we can file cases against the] hotel but, of course, may due process. We will wait for the three days, yung [for the] explanation ng hotel,” Puyat added.
The DOT chief said the hotel may face fines, suspension, or even the revocation of its accreditation.
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